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Getting slower? (Read 954 times)


Maniac

    Okay folks, I need some help. For some reason, I seem to be slowing down on my runs. I was making nice progress when training for my half marathon. My 8 mile run and 10 mile runs all went fine. Then (after getting back from a trip home for a week), I tried to do a 12-mile run, but my legs felt completely dead and I stopped after 4. This past weekend, I completed the 12-miler, but had to walk a couple of times. Plus, my pace per mile was considerably slower during that run than in any run I've had in the past few months. The logical solution is to take some time off and rest, but I have a race on Sunday. Any thoughts? Any tricks that can get my legs back to normal by Sunday?

    Marathon Maniac #6740

     

    Goals for 2013:

     

    Run 3 Marathons in less than 6 weeks

    •  PF Chang's Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon (1/20/2013--4:13:19)
    •  Lost Dutchman Marathon (2/17/2013--4:34:27)
    •  Phoenix Marathon (03/02/2013--4:17:31)

     

    Run 1,500+ miles


    I've got a fever...

      Looking at your log, it looks like you usually have 1-2 days off between runs, sometimes 3. But that number has ballooned recently (holidays are bad for running -- look at my December Tongue ). I think your best bet is get back to more consistent every other day or every two days running. I don't think you need any more rest -- if anything, I think your legs will be fresher if you get back to your previous schedule and run a little more.

      On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.


      Maniac

        I hope you're right...I intend to run my regular schedule this week, but with a little lower intensity heading into my race Sunday. Hopefully, all will go well. Thanks!!

        Marathon Maniac #6740

         

        Goals for 2013:

         

        Run 3 Marathons in less than 6 weeks

        •  PF Chang's Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon (1/20/2013--4:13:19)
        •  Lost Dutchman Marathon (2/17/2013--4:34:27)
        •  Phoenix Marathon (03/02/2013--4:17:31)

         

        Run 1,500+ miles

          The reason you are burned out is that your long runs are averaging a whopping 60% of your weekly mileage, pretty much double what they should be. Add more runs during the week to increase your overall weekly mileage or cut back on the length of your long runs and you'll be fine. Tom


          Hawt and sexy

            Holy crap. You need to run more, not less. That's why you feel awful. Quit taking so many days off and make your long runs shorter. A long run should be 25% of your weekly mileage. You hit over 50% regularly. Your mileage cannot support your long runs. That's why you feel like hell. Grab something like Daniel's Running Formula or Road Racing for Serious Runner's and read the thing. These books will help you understand where you are going wrong and why your body will not adapt the way you want it to.

            I'm touching your pants.

              Hey, Willamona! Easy, big fella... While you are absolutely right, there is a certain "rate" to get there. Azredbirds052; are you trying to follow any training schedule or plan? If you are, and if you are just simply skipping some of the shorter (easier) runs in between, you've got to know that there are certain reasons why those shorter, easier runs are there. Unless you've built a solid foundation over the years, 10 or 12 miles is not something you want to casually do on weekend only (I know you run more than that). I've seen far too many people nowadays just simply follow some cookie-cutter schedule regardless of their individual growth rate. I'm sure many have never even heard of the name, Kenny Moore??? Pre is different because Nike still uses his name to make money. Pre was a kind of a runner who can train hard-hard-hard-easy-hard-hard... On the other hand, Moore trained like hard-easy-easy-easy-hard-easy-easy... They were both coached by the same guy; Pre finished 4th in 5000m in 1972; Moore, 4th in the marathon in 1972. Cookie-cutter schedule just ain't cut it for everybody. Far too often, people follow schedule for the sake of following schedule. They don't even listen to their own body. If you're tired and sluggish, you should take it easy. If you don't, your body will get into a stress situation and now you just can't run as freely as you did before. And the same goes to racing too. If you don't feel right, why race? Yes, you should probably run more; and yes, you should run more often....IF your goal is to get to the next level (like running a marathon) and get fitter. But there's a time for everything. When you try to push your body beyond its comfort zone, your base fitness level will go down a bit for a while. That's a natural training effect--you're actually stressing your body. As you recovery adequately, the base fitness level will come back up again; in fact, it actually surpasses where it once was before. This is called "Super Compensation". THIS is a real training effect and this is what you really want. This "wave" can be a day-to-day thing; but this could also be a little more broader way as well. In other words, you may have some barrier you'd need to overcome to get up to the next level. You may feel sluggish for several days; yet you need to get out and push through. The real key is to figure out whether you're overdoing it (by stubbornly continue to push) or pushing the envelope (reading the signs and "training", not "straining") or simply pampering yourself (take it easy too much). It sounds to me, though, that you've been stressing your body too much too soon. When your legs feel dead and heavy and you're actually slowing down, to me, that's a sign that tells you to slow down. I'd cut down those long runs and, if anything, include a few easy fartlek type of workout--this tends to freshen up the dead legs. By all means, I would NOT cut back your running (happy, Willa? ;o)). But just go slow and easy and try not to push the pace or anything. I'd even wear extra jacket and pants (even if you're running in Cancoon) to slow down. Contrary to any scientist might suggest, there's no such thing as "junk mile". Any of these easy jogging would actually help. Easy jogging works as a gentle massage to your legs as well as bringing extra oxygen to your system (though some people may not believe in oxygen... Sorry, this is ex-Cool Running peolpe's insiders joke!). Moving forward, I'd suggest you check your morning pulse. I don't necessarily check heart rate during the workout (not particularly against it either though) but I think checking morning pulse rate is quite useful. It has to be taken under similar conditions every time--laying down position and sitting down position would give you a different reading; absolutely no-no to do so AFTER your morning capccino! If your pulse is up by, say, about 10% for more than a couple of days, it's a pretty good indication that you should take it easy a bit. I use this as an excuse to take it easy--if I feel sluggish, and if my morning pulse is higher, I'd take it easy without any guilt! ;o) One time, my pulse was about 56~58 for 3 days (it's about 50 now) and I was feeling sluggish. I took 2 days off (I pretty much run every day; about 10 times a week) and just walked for about an hour in full sweats--it was during the summer (about 88 degrees)! This way, I'd sweat enough; that it makes me feel like I've "worked out". On the other hand, just this past weekend, I felt sluggish but my pulse was normal (52). I went for a 1:40 run with this yound lady I'm coaching (as an 800m runner) and she was in her groove and was running well. I was strugling at first but, since I didn't have a legitimate "excuse", I've decided to keep pushing. We ended up pushing the pace all the way through but, in the final 1/4 or so, I fell into the groove and felt quite good. This was a classic case of "pushing through" sluggish feeling and actually came out stronger. I would have taken it easy had my pulse been higher than normal. Do we still talk about heart rate (not during the runs) and hard-easy any more? I feel like we talked about that in the 80s more... Today, it seems, everything is schedules and if-you-can't-actually-run-a-marathon-then-walk kind of "pushing through" principles instead of listening to your own reactions... I tell ya, I see sooooooooooo many times people coming to the message board and asking, "I'm dead tired but I'm 'supposed' to run 12-miles this weekend... What do I do?" Who told you you're "supposed" to run 12 this weekend; your "inner coach" or the schedule? C'mon, be reasonable!
                I'd suggest you check your morning pulse.
                This is excellent advice, I do this on a daily basis to be relatively certain that I have one. Wink Getting ready for my first HM I never ran more than 3 days a week, but I also never ran less than 3 days a week. Two days in the 3-5 mile range, and a Sunday long run. I personally would be more concerned with consistency than your long run's relationship to your weekly total. Mine was exactly 60% at 5/5/15 before I registered for 13.1. Your log looks like a serious crash course in distance running, it's not surprising that you're tired. The increase in long run distance is probably too much too soon. Looks like you progressed from 8 to 10 to 12 miles in a short timeframe. You want to do your long runs SLOWLY and add mileage gradually, no more that 10% from week to week. After a couple of weeks of bumping your long run up, you should give your body a week "off" by running only 50% of your recent long run. Something like 7-8-9-5, then back to adding a mile. When your easy long run gets up into the 16+ range, you can actually take two 50% weeks every once in a while without much loss of conditioning. As for walking, I've only recently started to eliminate it from my runs of 5 miles or less, and one recent 5 mile race. I've used Galloway's run/walk technique for a couple of years, and I find that it really makes my long runs more enjoyable and productive. My usual intervals are 6 minutes running and 1 minute walking. Don't worry about time for your first HM, and DON'T go out at the "pack's" pace. Run at a pace that allows you to hold a conversation, and enjoy the experience. Best of luck to you Matt.

                E.J.
                Greater Lowell Road Runners
                Cry havoc and let slip the dawgs of war!

                May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your SPF30, may the rains fall soft upon your sweat-wicking hat, and until you hit the finish line may The Flying Spaghetti Monster hold you in the hollow of His Noodly Appendage.

                  We need a Lydiard user group on running ahead... someone should start one. (Nobby or Kim, hint hint). Smile


                  Maniac

                    Thanks for all your help and thoughts folks. Just so you know, I do tried to do most of the things you suggest (only increase long runs gradually, take step-back weeks, etc.). Life just got in the way, and I tried to build my long run mileage up for my half this weekend (it's not my first, by the way...It's my 2nd. Last year's was kind of an experiment b/c I had to take a month off and wound up walking part of the race...I wanted to do better this year). The thing that is somewhat different to me is the "long run should only be 25% of your total mileage". I have read in other sources (e.g., Higdon) that the long run should be no more than 50% of your total mileage. I realize different coaches/authors/runners have different theories. Perhaps I should have shot for more of the middle of the theories (e.g., 30-35%) rather than the extreme end. Again, thanks for all of the advice. After this weekend, I'll revise my training/running schedule and incorporate what you folks are saying.

                    Marathon Maniac #6740

                     

                    Goals for 2013:

                     

                    Run 3 Marathons in less than 6 weeks

                    •  PF Chang's Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon (1/20/2013--4:13:19)
                    •  Lost Dutchman Marathon (2/17/2013--4:34:27)
                    •  Phoenix Marathon (03/02/2013--4:17:31)

                     

                    Run 1,500+ miles


                    Hawt and sexy

                      Now Nobby, you know me. I am not asking him to up his miles and days. Same miles, more days. Then after he is ready, well he can do more. And with the books, who cares what the schedules say, just read the parts that define what the worouts do, what they develop and how the body develops over training. This is what you need to know in order to develop your own plan. This way a person can understand what needs to be developed and work out the kinks. The problem is that most people skip the important stuff and go straight to the training plans. They have no idea the the author wants you to have xx mpw base over yy weeks. I think that is probably part of the case here. Higdon wants 50% of your mileage to be long runs? Holy crap. Read a new book. Your body doesn't like this one.

                      I'm touching your pants.


                      I've got a fever...

                        Higdon wants 50% of your mileage to be long runs? Holy crap. Read a new book. Your body doesn't like this one.
                        Damn straight. The conventional wisdom is 25%, and some stretch to 30, but I'd be wary of going beyond that. The only way I can see doing ~50% is if you have a lot of experience and a big aerobic base. And even in that case, I'd only do it if I had no other choice but to cram my runs into 3 days per week.

                        On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

                          This week on the Higdon HM novice plan, I'm supposed to run 4-2-4-6, after running 3.5-2-3.5-5 last week. Since my HM isn't until September 21, though, I'm going to cut the 6 down to 5.5. I think increasing by a half mile every two weeks makes more sense for me, so I won't get discouraged.


                          Maniac

                            The problem is that most people skip the important stuff and go straight to the training plans. They have no idea the the author wants you to have xx mpw base over yy weeks. I think that is probably part of the case here.
                            Actually, I did read the whole book. And I did have a pretty good base of mileage. Unfortunately, I just got into a bad habit of skipping workouts at the worst part of my training. I do pretty well at 3 runs per week...Unfortunately, I need to maintain motivation to get out there for 4 or 5 runs per week.

                            Marathon Maniac #6740

                             

                            Goals for 2013:

                             

                            Run 3 Marathons in less than 6 weeks

                            •  PF Chang's Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon (1/20/2013--4:13:19)
                            •  Lost Dutchman Marathon (2/17/2013--4:34:27)
                            •  Phoenix Marathon (03/02/2013--4:17:31)

                             

                            Run 1,500+ miles